This paper investigates the use of proof (or acceptance) test data during the reliability based design optimization of structural components. It is assumed that every component will be proof tested and that the component will only enter into service if it passes the proof test. The goal is to reduce the component weight, while maintaining high reliability, by exploiting the proof test results during the design process. The proposed procedure results in the simultaneous design of the structural component and the proof test itself and provides the designer with direct control over the probability of failing the proof test. The procedure is illustrated using two analytical example problems and the results indicate that significant weight savings are possible when exploiting the proof test results during the design process.